Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t have “fun” food; it just means that you have to replace the unhealthy ingredients with nutrient-rich swaps. Trust me, even the rangers enjoy the occasional plate of comfort food, but now they always do their best to morph unhealthy recipes into more wholesome and delicious versions!
Growing up, the Rangers all loved eating one particular comfort food: macaroni and cheese! But, times have changed since they have become Samurai. It is their responsibility to keep fit and healthy, so eating correctly now takes priority over those unhealthy cravings. When the Rangers are hungry for something that will keep their heart healthy and Samurai Kicks flyin’ high, they put each other up to the culinary challenge of creating classic comfort foods with fresh, healthy, low-fat, high protein ingredients.
Morphin’ Mac n’ Cheese
You will need a baking dish that can hold approximately 6-8 cups of pasta.
- 4 cups cooked whole-wheat/grain, brown rice or gluten free pasta (approx. 7 oz. dry)
- PAM or non-stick baking spray
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1.5 cups broccoli, roughly chopped
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese***
- 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese***
- 1 cup (8 oz.) non-fat plain Greek yogurt or 1.5 cups plain non-fat yogurt***
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper (additional pepper to taste)
- 1 tablespoon dried or fresh oregano
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
***You can always substitute any dairy (cheese, yogurts, milk) with any dairy-free and or vegan substitutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a baking pan with PAM or non-stick baking spray.
Boil water with salt. Make pasta according to package directions.
In a large pan, heat oil at a medium heat and sauté garlic until golden brown. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Add the chopped spinach, peas and basil.
In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta and vegetables. In another bowl, mix the low-fat cheddar cheese, low-fat cottage cheese and plain non-fat Greek yogurt (If you do not have Greek Yogurt, use 1.5 cups plain non-fat yogurt). Add salt, pepper, oregano, and nutmeg. Add and thoroughly mix the pasta and vegetables to the cheese sauce.
Pour your “Morphin’ Mac n’ Cheese” mixture into your coated baking pan. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until brown slightly around the edges and bubbling.
Serving size: 2/3 cup with veggies.
Photo courtesy janeyhenning.
This recipe may contain nuts, wheat, milk, dairy, and other milk products and other allergens that should be avoided if you or your child are allergic.